It’s the time you have been both dreading and waiting for over the past 4 years: graduation day.
You’re nervous, you’re excited, you might feel a little nauseous, but the fact is, it’s time to face the graduation music and walk with your class.
But are you prepared for graduation? Are you ready to face whatever music is playing once “the graduation song” is over?
I’d like to share some advice from you from one recent grad to another soon-to-be grad, for those of you who aren’t quite sure what to expect after graduation and for those who think they’ve got it all figured out.
Grad Tip #1: Don’t freak out.
Yes, graduation can be scary, nerve-wracking, upsetting, and all of the above. You may be scared to graduate because you are leaving a life that took you 4 years to build. You’re saying goodbye to an awesome apartment or house, your roommates, friends, sororities sisters/fraternity brothers and everyone in between.
But think about this: you’re also saying hello to the next chapter of your life. You’re about to embark on the next stage of discovering who you are and what it is you are good at.
Sure, college is safe and you feel safe there, but you will feel so much more successful and satisfied with your life if you challenge yourself. You will find that, yes, life is hard, but you CAN do it; with hard work, you can achieve anything.
Grad Tip #2: It wont be easy.
No, life after college is anything but easy. In fact, it’s a bit of a struggle, especially at first. You will inevitably feel lost, a bit confused and sometimes, downright depressed.
Just know that what you are feeling it totally normal and I can guarantee that 99% of other graduates will experience the same things.
Deciding what to do with your life after it’s been decided for you for so long is a challenge in itself, but you are not alone either. Your family is there to support you, your friends are going through it too and no matter what you think, you will figure it out.
You will struggle, but I promise that whatever struggles you are going through, they are only there to help you move past them and into the bright future that is awaiting you.
Grad Tip #3: Follow your instincts.
Now that you’re done with school, it’s time to start making decisions. These decisions you will make are not for your parents, your friends or your significant other, but for yourself.
You need to do what is best for you and there is no better time to start pushing yourself than after graduation. You no longer have to study for tests or go to class. There are no more projects or parties to attend on the weekends. The only thing you have starring you in the face is a framed diploma and an unpaved future.
If you want to go in a specific career or academic direction after graduation, take my advice: listen to yourself. If you feel that taking a bunch of internships over a job is the right choice, then do it. If you think moving out to a city will help you find a job faster, start packing up your things.
You are only a recent grad once so you better do it right. Count every day after graduation as precious time to start figuring out your life.
Grad Tip #4: Work hard.
Sure, it seems like a given, but so many college students want everything handed to them. They think that because they got good grades and joined a sorority, they’re entitled to a great job. Sorry to rain on your parade, but the real world doesn’t care if you volunteered at the church once a year in between partying and unless you’re in the top of your class, grades unfortunately don’t matter all that much either.
There is so much competition out there to get a good job so you need to start figuring out how to make yourself stand out. Whether you take on a bunch of internships at once or you decide to start something for yourself, DO IT!
The harder you work, the faster you will be rewarded. The more you take on, the more impressive you will be to an employer. The less time you have for yourself, the more time you can spend honing your skills and adding to your resume.
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Grad Tip #5: Enjoy the ride!
No matter how many times a day you cry or the number of hours you spend applying for jobs, just remember that you will not be a recent grad forever and something good will come your way.
It’s not fun being broke or not having a job right away, but it’s also one or two years out of your entire life that you will spend to really figure out who you are.
It sounds crappy, but looking back on it, none of what I have in my life right now would be as sweet if I didn’t struggle to get here.
I know your parents will probably say “enjoy this time of your life” and you won’t understand just yet, but as a
recent grad young professional, I can tell you I know what they mean and why they say it to you.